All the allegations by the opposition have fallen by the way side as the Supreme Court set aside the review petition on Rafale deal. Back in December 2018 the apex court had said that there is no reason for the court to intervene into this deal of procurement of 36 aircrafts by the government. At that time also it had discussed the crucial parts such as decision making process and the issue of pricing in-detail before it passed the judgement. Now, it has set aside the review petition once again offering its observations on pricing and government’s decision-making process. These are the areas that the petitioners and the oppositions have raised doubts.
Even while accepting the unconditional apology of Rahul Gandhi giving him a caution, the Supreme Court has made its observations.
These important observations taken as excerpts from the judgement copy are provided here.
“Insofar as the aspect of pricing is concerned, the Court satisfied itself with the material made available. It is not the function of this Court to determine the prices nor for that matter can such aspects be dealt with on mere suspicion of persons who decide to approach the Court. The internal mechanism of such pricing would take care of the situation. On the perusal of documents, we had found that one cannot compare apples and oranges. Thus, the pricing of the basic aircraft had to be compared which was competitively marginally lower. As to what should be loaded on the aircraft or not and what further pricing should be added has to be left to the best judgment of the competent authorities.
“Insofar as the decision-making process is concerned, on the basis of certain documents obtained, the petitioners sought to contend that there was contradictory material. We, however, found that there were undoubtedly opinions expressed in the course of the decision-making process, which may be different from the decision taken, but then any decision-making process envisages debates and expert opinion and the final call is with the competent authority, which so exercised it.”
On Rahul Gandhi
“We must note that it is unfortunate that without verification or even perusing as to what is the order passed, the contemnor deemed it appropriate to make statements as if this Court had given an imprimatur to his allegations against the Prime Minister, which was far from the truth. This was not one sentence or a one off observation but a repeated statement in different manners conveying the same. No doubt the contemnor should have been far more careful.”
“We do believe that persons holding such important positions in the political spectrum must be more careful. As to what should be his campaign line is for a political person to consider. However, this Court or for that matter no court should be dragged into this political discourse valid or invalid, while attributing aspects to the Court which had never been held by the Court. Certainly Mr. Gandhi needs to be more careful in future.”